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Automatic expungement for 1 million Michigan residents began Tuesday

 Expungement written on a document.
Michigan State Police began the process Tuesday of automatically expunging criminal records for certain misdemeanors and low-level felonies. (Shutterstock)
  • Automatic expungement begins Tuesday, clearing old convictions for more than 1 million Michigan residents 
  • Offenses excluded include assaults, human trafficking, drunk driving and many others 

The Michigan State Police began the process of automatically expunging older and less serious criminal convictions of Michigan residents on Tuesday. 

“We anticipate over one million residents will have convictions automatically expunged on April 11, 400,000 of whom will end the day completely conviction free," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a video marking the event. "And those will just continue to go up as the program continues to run.”

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The automatic expungement of certain misdemeanor and felony convictions stems from a law passed in 2020, the Clean Slate Act. In its first stages, the law allowed people with a broad array of non-assaultive convictions in their distant past to apply to have them removed from public records as a means of giving them access to better jobs and opportunities.   

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The law also gave the state a few years to develop software and coordinate plans to automatically expunge certain offenses from criminal records, which is what the State Police unveiled Tuesday. 

State Police worked with the Department of Technology Management and Budget to adjust the Criminal Historical Database so that it could automatically send the courts a file of eligible convictions on a daily basis. 

Criminal cases due for automatic expungement include: 

  • An unlimited number of misdemeanors punishable by less than 92 days imprisonment can be expunged after seven years
  • Up to four misdemeanors punishable by more than 93 days imprisonment can be expunged after seven years
  • Up to two eligible felonies can be expunged after 10 years    

For the latter two categories, an individual must not have any pending charges in the state criminal database or been convicted of any additional charges during the waiting period. 

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There are a number of crimes that are excluded from automatic expungement including those involving assault, human trafficking, driving while intoxicated, crimes of dishonesty, those punishable by more than 10 years and that result in serious injury or death. 

Individuals can check their record using the Michigan State Police’s Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) for a $10 fee. 

Michigan is one of a few states that allow automatic expungement for misdemeanors and low level felonies.  

“This new process will strengthen our state’s workforce, reduce recidivism and be an overall great thing for Michigan communities,” Nessel said in the video statement

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